Anticipating Halloween Horror Nights 2016 Lineup

No doubt you are all wondering how excited we are by the 2016 lineup of attractions for Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, which opens this Friday. Though we think Universal may be casting its net a little bit too wide, we're actually thrilled by the inclusion of The Exorcist and Freddy Vs. Jason, both of which we have been anticipating for years. The former provides a wonderful template for a maze with a narrative progression through a series of environments: from Iraq to Georgetown to hospital to psych ward to a finale with the exorcism in Regan's bedroom. The latter offers ample opportunity for over-the-top horror movie fun, of the type that should work in a theme park environment.

As for the other mazes, Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre have been overused, but they're classics so we'll check them out again.We're not sure that Krampus warrants being upgraded from a scare zone to a maze. We're not sure what to expect from American Horror Story; hopefully, we will be (un)pleasantly surprised.

Speaking of overused, The Walking Dead is back yet again - this time as a permanent, year-round attraction. But honestly - no matter how much we think we're going to get tired of these zombies, they pretty much always end up delivering enough thrills to change our mind.

We're not big fans of Eli Roth, but maybe he can bring something new to the Terror Tram; we get the feeling this may amount to a living commercial for his Crypt TV online network.

We're happy to see The Purge back as a scare zone - it's a perfect theme for turning the studios' city streets into a chaotic nightmare.

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.